On a sunny summer Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis it is not unusual to have a selection of many events to choose. From parades and fairs, to food bazaars and art in the streets; everyone has to prioritize their time and select their own way to relax.
The commercial airport has several military organizations on the "campus" and they have a "Open House" for the civilians one weekend a year. The army, and air force strut their stuff and little kids (old and young) come to see the tools used in the military.
Commercial operations go uninterrupted as you stroll a few hundred feet away. The Boeing family is well represented with its 747's, 737's, etc but the Airbus and other foreign birds of the sky also are very evident.
In 2001the Air Force took the lead over the Army for the attraction was the B1B. A line formed quickly to get a chance to climb into the cockpit and examine the systems of the mammoth bird.
The pilots and crew were available to answer questions. Wearing jumpsuits bearing names like Blackjack, Beast, Ponch, and Dogboy, one had visions of "Top Gun" and what it must be like to soar in these mighty killers in the sky.
Other popular guests on the ramp included
war birds of the past, trainers like the T6, the mysterious SR71, and exhibits of ground operations. It was fun to watch the crews prepare their equipment for departure back to their bases at the end of the day. Returning to far away cities, Minneapolis was just another stop on their public relations tour.
Edited Sunday, 22 August 2010